Recent stories relating to TS Eliot
Young Eliot: From St Louis to The Waste Land
This “impressive monograph” (The Observer) “traces the life of the twentieth century’s most important poet from his childhood in the ragtime city of St Louis right up to the publication of his most famous poem, The Waste Land.”
The author is Robert Crawford, Professor of Modern Scottish Literature at the University of St Andrews (who will be speaking at the 2015 TS Eliot Festival).
It will be broadcast as the BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week during the week commencing Monday 2nd February.
Reviewed by Ian Thomson in The Independent
Robert McCrum in The Observer
John Sutherland in the Financial Times
Stuart Kelly in The Scotsman
Daniel Swift in The Spectator
In a short film, the writer Edward Petherbridge looks at 3 Compayne Gardens, West Hampstead, once the home of artist Charles Haigh-Wood, where Eliot and his new bride, the artist’s daughter Vivienne, lived after their marriage.
TS Eliot, Fifty Years On
Two newspaper articles examine Eliot and his work fifty years after his death. In The Guardian, Robert Crawford, Professor of Modern Scottish Literature at the University of St Andrews, and author of the new biography Young Eliot (see below) examines “the poet who conquered the world”; while in The Telegraph Allan Massie writes that “[Eliot's] poetry was as seductive as a mermaid’s singing”
And Robert Crawford and Lyndall Gordon discuss Eliot’s “enduring power and appeal” on BBC Radio 3′s Free Thinking here.
Young Eliot: A Biography
Young Eliot: A Biography ”traces the life of the twentieth century’s most important poet from his childhood in the ragtime city of St Louis right up to the publication of his most famous poem, The Waste Land.”
The author is Robert Crawford, Professor of Modern Scottish Literature at the University of St Andrews (who read at our Eliot Festival in 2013). “Quoting extensively from poetry and prose as well as drawing on new interviews, archives, and previously undisclosed memoirs, Robert Crawford shows how Eliot’s background in Missouri, Massachusetts and Paris made him a lightning conductor for modernity.”
More details are here.
UPDATE: Robert Crawford talks about Eliot on BBC Radio 3′s Free Thinking, broadcast on 13th January 2015, here.
The Letters of T. S. Eliot Volume 5: 1930-1931, November 2014
Details are now on Amazon here.
The volume is reviewed by:
David Sexton, Evening Standard here.
Lesley McDowell, Independent here
Denis Donoghue, Irish Times here
Annual TS Eliot Lecture – full details released, October 2014
The speaker and subject for this year’s TS Eliot Lecture have now been announced – full details are on our Events page.
Faber publish two new editions of Eliot poetry, October 2014
A cherished part of his oeuvre, the ‘Ariel Poems’ of T. S. Eliot were originally commissioned for a pamphlet series of the same name that first ran between 1927 and 1931. That pamphlet series inventively paired an unpublished poem by a leading writer of the day with new artwork from an eminent artist.
“This handsome new publication brings together, for the first time in a single edition, the six poems that T. S. Eliot wrote for the series, and in so doing restores them to the company of the artworks that originally partnered them.” Full details on the Faber website here.
In addition, TS Eliot’s Selected Poems, with an essay by Seamus Heaney, is to be published in a new edition of eight Faber Modern Classics in April 2015. The “mid-century” cover features part of the portrait of Eliot by Wyndham Lewis, and a quote from The Hollow Men.
Faber’s art director, Donna Payne, led the design of the series. “We wanted to capture the spirit of our Faber Design heritage whilst keeping the series design contemporary and accessible,” Payne tells Co.Design. “Many of the Classics titles were written in this period, and we deliberately looked to use images that were unexpected, but true to the text.” All text is in Faber’s company typeface, Swiss.
Professor Ron Schuchard and The Complete Prose of TS Eliot, September 2014
An article in the Emory Report, from Emory University, Atlanta, provides the fascinating background to Professor Schuchard’s work to publish The Complete Prose of TS Eliot.
“The depth and breadth of these new materials is just astonishing,” says Professor Schuchard. “I believe that they will feed a tremendous resurgence of interest not only around the study of Eliot, but of modernism in the 20th century.”
(There is a link to the Complete Prose online on our Resources/Works by TS Eliot page)
TS Eliot’s childhood summer home for sale, September 2014
A five-bedroom beach house in Gloucester, Massachusetts, identified as ‘the summer home of TS Eliot’, is up for sale. Built in 1896 by his parents, the ‘grand and gracious’ home is where Eliot spent his childhood summers, and sits on 1.96 acres a few blocks away from the beach. Property details are here.
(UPDATE: There is an article on the background to the house, and a slideshow tour of the property, here.)
BBC Radio 4 Extra rebroadcasting Tom and Viv, September 2014
TS Eliot Society Membership for 2014/15 now open, August 2014
Annual Subscriptions to the T S Eliot Society are due on the 1st September.
The membership fee is £15. This entitles you to the quarterly Exchanges, the annual Journal and provides you with access to the Members’ Area of the website; with news of the annual Lecture and other events and activities connected with the society.
Full details and a joining form for new members are available through our Membership page; existing members should log into the Members Area for details of renewal.
First Printing of The Waste Land for sale, August 2014
A rare copy of The Criterion, October 1922, featuring the first publication of TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, is up for sale. Only 600 copies were printed; this rare item is being sold by The Manhattan Rare Book Company for $5,500. Details here.
BBC Broadcast of The Waste Land, July 2014
On 28th July 2014, BBC Radio 4 repeated the 2012 reading of The Waste Land by Eileen Atkins and Jeremy Irons. The reading is introduced by Dr Rowan Williams, Jackie Kay, Matthew Hollis and Sean O’Brien. You can see details, and listen to the reading for four weeks after broadcast, here.
Journal of the TS Eliot Society 2014, July 2014
This year’s issue of the Journal of the TS Eliot Society has now been published, with a particularly interesting set of contributors including Lyndall Gordon and Rowan Williams. Full details of content are here, and notes on the contributors here.
The journal costs £5, but is free to members of the Society.
For your copy, send an A5 SAE, with postage to cover a 110g document to your location – and, if you are not a member, a cheque for £5 payable to TS Eliot Society – to Kathy Radley (Secretary), 73A Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AW
Sale of TS Eliot documents, July 2014
A collection of documents written by, signed by or relating to TS Eliot are to be sold at auction.
The documents are referred to as “Archive relating to the poet from the collection of Morley and Jean Kennerley”; Morley Kennerley was a fellow director, with Eliot, of Faber & Faber.
Full details of the Lot, to be auctioned at Lawrence’s Auctioneers of Crewkerne on July 25th, are here.
UK publication of “First US Edition” of The Waste Land, June 2014
Nine months after its publication in the United States, this ’landmark reissue of the first edition’ of The Waste Land is now available in the UK. The first US edition was published in 1922 by Boni & Liveright, and this reissue from its original publisher includes a new introduction by Paul Muldoon, and a Modernist cover design. The book is on UK Amazon here; Paul Muldoon talks about his introduction and the genesis of the poem here; and there is an interview with cover designer Jamie Keenan here
Complete Prose of TS Eliot going live, May 2014
The first two volumes of The Online Complete Prose of TS Eliot are now scheduled to go live.
The first two volumes are The Apprentice Years (1905-1918), and The Perfect Critic (1919-1926).
Professor Ron Schuchard, who outlined the project at the TS Eliot Festival 2012, confirms that “the Johns Hopkins University Press says it will have the first two volumes live on its Project Muse website on July 1st.”. You can view the project’s index here.
The John Hopkins University Gazette published an article about the project, with quotes from Ron Schuchard, here.
The TS Eliot International Summer School in the Institute of English Studies (July 5-13) will have a panel by two of the co-editors, Professors Jewel Spears Brooker and Anthony Cuda, discussing and demonstrating use of the volumes live.
Ninth Annual TS Eliot Festival, Little Gidding, 5th & 6th July 2014
The programme has now been announced for the 2014 TS Eliot Festival, held at Little Gidding.
Win a night at the Faber archive, April 2014
A competition organised by Culture 24/Museums at Night offers five lucky winners an opportunity for a guided tour of the literary archive of Faber & Faber, “80 years of treasures held in the publishing giant’s London office at Bloomsbury House, which is not normally open to the public.” Those include manuscripts of TS Eliot. The evening will include a reading by previous Festival contributor Daljit Nagra.
The tour will take place on Thursday May 15th, from 6.30 to 8pm; the competition closes on Friday May 9th. Details and entry to the competition is here.
New Publication: Richard Aldington Poet, Soldier, Lover 1911–1929 by Vivien Whelpton, Lutterworth Press, March 2014
A new biography of the poet Richard Aldington, who worked as Eliot’s ‘secretary and managing editor’ at The Criterion in 1923. Aldington initially said of Eliot that “His manners are charming and ironical, his conversation really witty, his point of view always finished and sometimes profound”; but he subsequently found him “difficult to work with”, and bitterness followed. “I do most vehemently suspect him of condescension to us all,” he said after his relationship with “Eliot’s circle” broke down. “We are his claque, his suite, his ladder…”
Although not primarily about Eliot himself, the book provides several insights into his character and behaviour during this period, from Aldington’s perspective. More details here.
Appointment – TS Eliot Festival – Event Manager, February 2014
The TS Eliot Festival, run successfully by volunteers since 2005, is now seeking to appoint a professional Event Manager, to organise this annual event held at Little Gidding.
Responsibilities will include the practical organisation, staging and functioning of the event. You will require experience in planning and managing comparable events, and be able to demonstrate the successful organisation and staging of similar outdoor functions.
A fee will be negotiated commensurate with experience and responsibilities.
For full details click here
Four Quartets read by Jeremy Irons on BBC Radio 4, January 2014
The BBC have announced that their recording of Four Quartets, read by Jeremy Irons, will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Saturday 18th January at 2.30pm.
(This follows the reading of The Waste Land by Irons, which now forms part of the poem’s iPad app.)
Full details here.
You can also read more about Jeremy Irons’s relationship with Eliot’s poetry via our TSE & Me page, here.
The Annual TS Eliot Lecture 2013, November 2013
This year’s TS Eliot Lecture was given by Dr Rowan Williams, Patron of the Society; the title was Eliot’s Christian Society and the current political crisis.
You can listen to the Lecture here.
The Lecture was reported briefly in The Guardian: Rowan Williams is back and bashing the Prime Minister – a poetic buffet from the turbulent priest.
A Life’s Devotion: The Collection of the Late Mrs TS Eliot, November 2013
The catalogue is in two volumes; both Vol I covering Portrait Miniatures and Jewellery, and Vol II covering British Drawings & Watercolours, Modern British Art and Furniture, can be seen and downloaded as PDFs here. The introduction to the catalogues offers glimpses of the Eliots’ life at home, but most of the works can be seen to have been purchased after the poet’s death.
TS Eliot’s unpublished essay on George Chapman published for first time, October 2013
The 50th Anniversary Issue of the New York Review of Books publishes for the first time Eliot’s essay on George Chapman (1559–1634), the Elizabethan and Jacobean poet, dramatist, and translator, known particularly for his translations of Homer.
T.S. Eliot delivered this unpublished lecture, which scholars have long believed lost, at Cambridge University on Saturday, November 8, 1924.
The publication has been achieved through Ron Schuchard, with Anthony Cuda, and will be part of next April’s publication of the first two online volumes of of the forthcoming eight-volume edition of The Online Complete Prose of T.S. Eliot.
Their introduction to the essay is here. The essay itself is only currently available to subscribers, although a week’s subscription can be purchased at the foot of the introduction. UPDATE: The subscription requirement has now been lifted, and the essay can be read in full via that link
New publication, TS Eliot and the Failure to Connect, by G Douglas Adams, October 2013
This new book focuses on the failure to connect that T.S. Eliot saw setting in during the seventeenth century. With special attention to The Waste Land and Gerontion, G. Douglas Atkins, a Professor of English at the University of Kansas, USA, shows that Eliot roundly satirized modern misunderstandings and urges readers to make the connections that the “wastelanders” fail to make. Thus, a new approach to reading Eliot opens up, based on suggestions he himself made in the prose and enacted in the poetry.
G Douglas Atkins is the author or editor of over a dozen books, including Reading T.S. Eliot: ‘Four Quartets’ and The Journey Towards Understanding; T.S. Eliot and the Essay. The book is on Amazon here.
Epstein bust of TS Eliot bequeathed to University of Kent, October 2013
A Jacob Epstein bust of TS Eliot has been bequeathed to the University of Kent by the poet’s estate. “Modelled in clay and cast in bronze, the likeness…is rooted in observation but features an expressive approach to its form and texture,” say the University. It will sit in Eliot College at the University, alongside a Patrick Heron portrait of Eliot. “Valerie had considered giving it during her lifetime,” said a representative of the estate, “but could not bear to be parted from the likeness of her beloved Tom.” Full story here.
New publication of “First US Edition” of The Waste Land, September 2013
A new hardback edition of The Waste Land has been published in the US. The first US edition was published in 1922 by Boni & Liveright, and this ’landmark reissue of the first edition’, now back with its original publisher, includes a new introduction by Paul Muldoon, and a Modernist cover design. The book is on US Amazon here; Paul Muldoon talks about his introduction and the genesis of the poem here; and there is an interview with cover designer Jamie Keenan here.
New publication: Ascetic Modernism in the work of TS Eliot and Gustave Flaubert by Henry Michael Gott, July 2013
A new book due in September. “Gott examines Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922) in conjunction with Gustave Flaubert’s La Tentation de Saint Antoine (1874). He provides a highly original reading of both texts and argues that a stylistic affinity exists between the two works, which derives from the authors’ shared fascination for the ascetic saint.” Published by Pickering & Chatto HB 978 1 84893 437 5 – further details here.
Calls for Proposals, June 2013
The TS Eliot Society of Korea is calling for proposals for its conference in October on the theme of Reshaping TS Eliot for the Future – details here.
Also, there is a call for proposals for a session sponsored by the TS Eliot Society (US) at the annual Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900 in February 2014 – full details here.
First, Hogarth Press Edition of The Waste Land to be auctioned, June 2013
One of the rare First Editions of The Waste Land, hand-printed by the Woolfs at the Hogarth Press, is to be auctioned at Bonham’s later this month. Details, and an enlargeable photo of this rare edition, are here. The book had been donated to an Oxfam Bookshop – full story here.
UPDATE: The book sold for £4,500 – details here.
Eliot art collection to be auctioned, May 2013
Valerie Eliot’s “domestic” collection of art, purchased with royalties from Eliot’s works including the musical Cats, is to be auctioned later this year. The works hung in their apartment; an image can be seen here. Artists in the collection include Turner, Gainsborough, Constable and Bacon. Details of the collection are here.
Titled A Life’s Devotion: The Collection of the Late Mrs TS Eliot, the sale will take place at Christie’s London on 20th November 2013. Full details of the sale here,
Call for papers, TS Eliot Society (US), May 2013
The US TS Eliot Society is inviting proposals for papers to be presented at its annual meeting in St Louis in September 2013. Details here.
TS Eliot’s Little Gidding in the Order of Service for the Funeral of Baroness Thatcher, April 2013
Lines from Little Gidding have been chosen to form part of the Order of Service for the Funeral of Baroness Thatcher.
According to the Downing St website, “TS Eliot was a particular favourite, which is why she chose Little Gidding from Four Quartets for the service.”
The extract published within the Order of Service (which you can see here) is, however, an edited combination of lines from section V of the poem; lines 214-216, followed by lines 228-242.
The Waste Land iPad app updated, April 2013
The interactive iPad version of The Waste Land has been updated, to include the recent reading of the poem by Jeremy Irons and Eileen Atkins.
Although it is not stated in the publicity material, this is the version recorded for, and originally broadcast on, BBC Radio 4 in March 2012. It has not been available for listening since then.
The app now also allows readers to make their own notes on the poem. Purchasers of the original app may update to the new version free of charge.
East Coker Development Plan – hearings announced, March 2013
The formal Examination of plans for the development of East Coker will begin on 7th May.
The East Coker Society website is here.
A pen given to Eliot as a boy, and bequeathed to the Royal Literary Society by Valerie Eliot, replaces Dicken’s quill as the pen with which newly-elected Fellows sign the Roll Book. The pen can be seen more clearly in the subsequent Telegraph article here.
Tarantula’s Web: John Hayward, T.S. Eliot and their Circle, by John Smart (Michael Russell) ISBN 978-0-85955-324-7
A new book on John Hayward, the figure at the centre of Eliot’s literary London. There is an illuminating article by the author which can be downloaded in Word format here, a review by DJ Taylor in The Spectator here and a longer piece by Adrian Barlow, Chair of the English Association and series editor of Cambridge Contexts in Literature, about both the book and Hayward here.
UPDATE: The book is reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement March 2014 here.
Reviews of The Letters of TS Eliot, Vol 4 1928-29 edited by Valerie Eliot & John Haffenden, Faber, £40 – publication 17 January 2013
The Observer - Adam Mars-Jones
The Independent - Lesley Macdowell
The Times - John Sutherland (subscription needed)
The Telegraph – Juliet Nicolson
The Spectator – DJ Taylor
The Financial Times – Henry Hitchings
New Republic – a US article taking a broader look at Eliot and his letters
(There has also been an entertaining spoof of Eliot’s Letters by John Crace, published in The Guardian)
East Coker loses planning battle, January 2013
(A letter from the South Somerset District Council to our Chairman containing links to the full planning documents, and an explanation of the public hearings planned for May this year, can be read here: East Coker council letter)
TS Eliot in Baghdad – an interview with the author, January 2013
Abdul Sattar Jawad Al Mamouri, visiting Professor of Comparative Literature and Middle East Studies at Duke University, recently completed a book that examines the influence of Eliot’s poetry on the 1950s Arab Free Verse Movement that began in Baghdad and spread across the Arab world. Jawad is known for his Arabic translation of The Waste Land.
Four Quartets through the lens of music, Postgraduate English journal, issue 25, December 2012
Jeremy Diaper, University of Birmingham, takes an interdisciplinary approach in an article which allows one “to see just how penetrating the notion of music is within [Four Quartets].” The journal is published through the University of Durham’s Research in English.
Call for Papers, American Literature Association, December 2012
The Annual Conference of the ALA, to be held in Boston in May 2013, will host two sessions sponsored by the US TS Eliot Society – proposals are invited by January 2013
TS Eliot included in Ordinariate breviary, December 2012
The Tablet reports that, among its “post-Biblical” readings, the first editions of the breviary for the Ordinariate, the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham, include writings by TS Eliot. The editors say it is hard to think of a parallel where non-Catholic writers have been included in a prayer book sanctioned by the Catholic Church.
New TS Eliot publications mooted, November 2012
Following the death of the poet’s widow (below), The Observer discusses the prospect of a new biography, and the possibility of publication for the first time of the weekly love poems which TS Eliot wrote to his wife. In The Sunday Times (subscription required) Lyndall Gordon, author of a previous Eliot biography, considers what letters between the two may reveal.
Valerie Eliot – 1926-2012
We note with sadness the passing of Valerie Eliot, the second wife and later widow of TS Eliot, whose death has just been confirmed.
“To whom I owe the leaping delight
That quickens my senses in our wakingtime
And the rhythm that governs the repose of our sleepingtime”
The Times (preview only – subscription required)
Huffington Post (contains interesting photo gallery)
David Morley– and, in its Comments, Graham Fletcher
David Barrie – on Valerie Eliot and the Becket Casket
Bruce Ross-Smith – on her editing of TS Eliot’s letters
Leslie Morris – of the Houghton Library, Harvard
Rick Gekoski – on Valerie as a collector and more
Valerie Eliot, keeper of the TS Eliot flame – The Guardian
East Coker graveyard to reunite TS Eliot and widow Valerie – This Is Somerset
Annual TS Eliot Cambridge Lecture 2012
Details have been announced of this year’s Annual TS Eliot Cambridge Lecture, to be delivered by Dr Jeremy Noel-Tod on 14th November. For full details click here.
TS Eliot: East and West – Call for Papers
Proposals are invited for a session to be included in the Sixth World Congress of International American Studies Association (IASA), which will be held on 3-6 August 2013 in Szczecin, Poland. Click here for full details.
TS Eliot and the other Arts – Call for Papers
Abstracts are invited for a collection of essays exploring intermedial dimensions of TS Eliot’s poetry and thought – click here for full details.
A poetic video of the village, produced to support the Save East Coker campaign.
Colloquium – Religion, Philosophy & Myth in TS Eliot’s poetry – University of Leicester
The British Association of Modernist Studies is calling for papers for this important colloquium, to be held in September 2013. Submission deadline is March 2013. Full details here.
East Coker Planning Objection – update and thanks, August 2012
TS Eliot Materialized: new publication announced, August 2012
TS Eliot Materialized – Literal Meaning and Embodied Truth, by G Douglas Atkins, Professor of English at the University of Kansas, is due to be published on 30th October 2012 by Palgrave Macmillan. Author of several previous books on Eliot, the publishers say that “In this lively and accessible book, G. Douglas Atkins moves beyond the familiar ‘deep’ readings and challenges the familiar notion of Eliot as bent on escaping this world for the spiritual world.”
Part of the National Library of New Zealand has acquired papers from the family of John Middleton Murry, second husband of NZ author Katherine Mansfield, which includes correspondence between the author and TS Eliot.
East Coker – Development Objection – August 2012
We’ve been asked at short notice to circulate the attached appeal for objections to the planned development of East Coker, the inspirational village where Eliot is interred.
Letter of Objection (downloadable Word document) NB This must be completed with your full name and address before submission.
TS Eliot and Sherlock Holmes – July 2012
A Sherlockian makes a connection?
TS Eliot’s The Waste Land 2012 – A multimedia walk – July 2012
The Guardian’s report on a guided tour of London, “city of fragments”, to the backdrop of Eliot’s poem.
Reviews of The Letters of TS Eliot, Vol III 1926-27 edited by Valerie Eliot & John Haffenden, Faber, £40 – publication 5 July 2012
The Guardian Review – Paul Batchelor
Saturday Independent – Brian Morton
Literary Review – David Collard
The Observer – Craig Raine
The Independent – Lesley McDowell
London Evening Standard – David Sexton
New Statesman – Adam Kirsch
Church Times – Richard Harries
Washington Times – Matthew Walther
Seventh Annual TS Eliot Festival, Programme & Booking
The programme of talks, readings, music and celebration has been announced for the seventh Annual TS Eliot Festival, taking place at Little Gidding, 7-8 July 2012
Chosen by The Guardian’s John Mullan
Dorian Linsky explores in The Guardian how David Bowie, Bob Dylan, PJ Harvey, Manic Street Preachers, Thom Yorke and others owe a debt to TS Eliot
President Obama on TS Eliot, May 2012
An excerpt from a forthcoming biography of Barack Obama includes an extract from a letter written by Obama to a former girlfriend, in which he puts forward his views on Eliot and The Waste Land.
Professor Robert Crawford wins Senior Research Fellowship to work on volume one of his TS Eliot biography
Fashion label Duchamp adapts Eliot’s dedication to his wife for its London Spring/Summer window display, April 2012
East Coker: “TS Eliot’s villagers” to fight on as housing development plan is approved, April 2012
Faber confirm July 2012 publication of The Letters of TS Eliot Vol 3
Fans of the iPad version of The Waste Land may enjoy this fascinating lecture by its designer, Hilary Kenna, March 2012